Today's Belize News: December 15, 2012
12/15/12 09:01 AM
12/15/12 09:01 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
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Specials and Events
Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials
The San Pedro Sun
7th Annual Lighted Boat Parade brings in the Christmas Season
San Mateo residents get help in purifying their contaminated drinking water
On Saturday December 8th, a group of San Mateo residents gathered at their local community church ready to learn how to purify their often contaminated drinking water. The San Pedro Sun has widely reported about the troubling water contamination issues in the disenfranchised community located just north of the Barry Bowen Bridge.
While most islander have heard of San Mateo, many residents have not been there personally and are always shocked to witness and learn that the children and residents of San Mateo often become ill from the bacteria present in their drinking water. In addition, San Mateo residents regularly have to walk through the wetlands that surround their homes to get to the street; in many instances this causes infection of open wounds due to contaminated water that has been further exposed to raw sewage in the surrounding wetlands.
A treasure trove of Belizean Cuisine at Pirate’s Treasure
A couple of weeks ago, we were out delivering newspapers when we stumbled upon a most intriguing property. From a distance, the wood fence concealed a true hidden treasure, quaint and laid back. We pulled up closer and realized it was so much more. Maresha Reid, talented personal chef was behind the bar. After a few minutes of conversation, we learned that Maresha, along with bartender/chef David and owner Jason, were manning Pirate’s Treasure. In no time at all, we were accepting an invitation to experience a true Pirate’s Treasure.
After deciding on a Sunday afternoon of fun, The SPSun gang set way across the bridge northwards to Pirate’s Treasure. With the sun high in the sky and perfect clear blue skies with just a slight wind blowing we had the perfect weather for our short, five-minute drive. I can tell you from now – the phrase that best describes the Pirate’s Treasure experience is: Flavor Explosion!
A tropical, serene setting accompanied by great food and even better drinks is what awaits you at Pirate’s Treasure. Upon arrival, our mood is instantly calm and relaxed, and we cannot wait for our outdoor dining experience. With sandy floors and rustic wooden tables shaded with palm-lattice, the dining experience offers a tropical island picnic feel. Towering coconut trees in front Pirate’s Treasure draws your attention to the horizon where the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea shimmers under the bright afternoon sun.
We refresh ourselves with a cooling cocktail. Pirate’s Treasure’s signature drinks are perfectly paired blends of tropical fruit, Belizean rums and liquors. If you’re the type to enjoy a cocktail every so often, be sure to try their famous PumPum juice shot – a tasty blend of fruit juice, rum and a very unlikely ingredient, vanilla cream! On a warm afternoon, David’s perfectly blended concoctions were most welcoming to start our dining experience. First up was the Purple Fairy, followed by the Blue Hole daiquiri (my choice to indulge), the Lady in Red and finally the Sapodilla Daiquiri. While we each had our individual drink, we couldn’t resist sampling each others cocktails. Each libation was made with three or more ingredients, perfectly blended to create just the ultimate refresher.
John McAfee Returns to the United States
Will Belize be seeing more of John McAfee in the future? That’s anybody’s guess, but what is for sure right now is that McAfee has been out of the country for a few weeks and after being detained in neighboring Guatemala after seeking asylum there, he now finds himself back home in the United States.
After a long, crazy and month-long drama, reports indicate that John McAfee is in the South Beach area of Miami. McAfee’s return to the United States marks the culmination of him being on the run after police in here in San Pedro, Belize announced that he was a person of interest the November killing of Gregory Viant Faull, who lived near McAfee's home on the island.
To this date, McAfee still denies any involvement in Faull’s death and insists that he fears for his life in the hands of Belizean authorities. He fled from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye to Guatemala where he was arrested for illegally entering the country, leading to his deportation.
Video Pick: Coca Cola's 'Smile Back Belize' Advertising Spot
Back in October 2012 Coca Cola International Latino spend a couple weeks in Belize shooting a commercial that would be aired in Latin America. Just a couple days ago, the new advertising spot was posted on YouTube called Smile Back Belize!
The Coca Cola YouTube Channel says: “Coca-Cola loves seeing people happy, which is why we set out across Belize on a mission to spread the simplest, most universal expression of Happiness, a SMILE... hoping that you would return one to us.”
Check out the great ad that features scenes from Belize City and San Pedro with some familiar faces throughout the spot.
Misc Belizean Sources
Scrooge – Mayor taxes city residents but spends tax dollars in Chetumal
The business community in Belize City is enraged at Belize City Mayor Darrel Bradley. Residents are highly disappointed. Mayor Bradley, who has double and tripled taxes on Belize City residents and businesses and also wrecked the entire city’s infrastructure in the guise of fixing about a dozen streets, also has tricked the business community into supporting the UDP’s idea of keeping the city in long-term debt bondage with a municipal bond. What Mayor Bradley hasn’t told residents is that his Council has no innovative way of creating revenue to pay back the bond and will have to resort to increasing taxes even more on residents and businesses. You thought the new garbage tax and the doubling of trade license was enough, right? But the Mayor doesn’t seem to be concerned about the dilapidated and depressed city. In fact, days after the business community willingly supported the bond; Mayor Bradley showed them total disrespect when he abandoned the city to go shopping across the border, over into Chetumal, Mexico. Mayor Bradley and a caravan of four vehicles that included his father the defacto Mayor, deputy mayor and three councillors and a few other party friends set off to Chetumal, 100 miles away, to spend city funds on fuel to buy alcohol and goodies for a Christmas staff party last week Friday. At a time when the city is economically-depressed and in dire need of investment, small, medium and big, the Mayor chose to slap the very same businessmen by going to shop, not away from the city, but outside of the country instead of buying at local stores.
Castro: Sex, Scandal and Sickness
Edmund Castro, who is the UDP Area Rep for Belize Rural North, is no stranger to the media. His acting skills are wanting but the man loves the spot light. As result we will give him some after much pressure but not to shame him; rather, that the child may equalize the odds against these UDP politicians who manipulate and corrupt the system to victimize those they disapprove.
The fact is that stories of Edmund Castro’s “sexcapades” have long and frequently reached the BELIZE TIMES, whether they are his “feedings” of “under-sized tilapias”, the extra-marital children or the rage of violence from cheating caught in the act. We at BELIZE TIMES have restrained ourselves.
But when we were asked to intervene to give a voice to a situation where this UDP politician is being accused of neglecting his own sick child and putting a single mother in fear and under threat from police officers, we have to tell her story. At the end of this Castro should give proper maintenance and financial support for his child. His actions so far are inexcusable.
A young lady has filed an official complaint against Edmund Castro. This young lady works as an “Infection Control Sister… at the Southern Regional Hospital.” She has mothered a now two-year old child with Castro, who is severely ill. She had to apply to Family Court to force Castro to pay maintenance but somehow Castro, a Minister, is paying only the very minimum by law. He is paying a grand total of $7.14 a day in maintenance to his child. If you break it down, if all that $7.14 went only to food and nothing else, Castro is giving his little two year old child 42 cents per meal.
Remember this is a sick child who needs medical attention. So not one prescription can be filled or taxi to doctor be paid and not even a pack of pampers can be bought. This is a sin.
DPM Vega presides over corruption
Two years ago Mr. Manuel Padron a farmer and cattle rancher of San Felipe Village in the Orange Walk district was approached by the then UDP representative for Orange Walk South Marco Pech and by the Minister of Lands Gaspar Vega for Mr. Padron to sell an 18 acre parcel of land at the entrance of San Felipe Village. The land was needed to provide house lots for village expansion.
Mr. Padron agreed to exchange his 18 acres of cleared lots for 100 acres of high bush on national land. The Minister agreed to the exchange and instructed the Lands Commissioner to give Mr. Manuel Padron permission to survey the 100 acres of agricultural land. Mr. Padron in turn transferred his 18 acres to the Village Council of San Felipe.
That was two years ago in 2010 when Manuel Padron was a strong supporter of Deputy Prime Minister Vega and the UDP.
In the General Elections of March 2012, Manuel Padron, who had become disillusioned with the UDP, openly expressed his support for the PUP candidate Abelardo Mai.
He has now discovered that his own niece Darlene Padron who is the National Estate Officer in the Ministry of Natural Resources has been making corrupt deals over the same 100 acre parcel of land. Minister Vega has refused to keep his side of the bargain and even though Manuel Padron has already transferred the 18 acres to the Government for village expansion, he has been unable to get title for the 100 acres he was promised.
MCHS Fun Day
Mount Carmel High School had their fun day to celebrate the end of the semester.
Feed the Children Christmas Fair
The Cornerstone Foundation is having their Feed the Children Christmas Fair all day today at Falcon Field. There will be a tons of food and games.
SHJC's End of Semester Dance
Sacred Heart Junior College is having a dance tonight. DJ Porchy and DJ Caesar will be mixing. It goes from 7pm until midnight.
"End of semester bash this Friday at SHJC!"
Santa Paws Visiting Belmopan
The Belmopan Humane Society is bringing Santa Paws to George Brown Park in Belmopan today at 4pm. They'll have food and games at the fundraiser.
"Please take a moment to spread the word. This event is not a fund raiser, it is an awareness raiser and a fun time for the children of the community. Even though there are many activities going on through out the City the same day we hope you will still be able to lend your support to ensure this will be a successful. If we could cover our costs that day it will be a bonus."
Yhony Rosado Gets Free After Only 1 Night In Jail
When we left you last night, business owner Yhony Rosado was spending his first night in jail, remanded on a firearm offence. Bail for those offences can only be gotten from the Supreme Court and only on Friday's.
But his attorney Kareem Musa put in the application for bail yesterday - and managed to get a bail hearing today. The DPP's office had no objection and so Rosado managed to get out of ail in a little over 24 hours.
That's not bad at all considering he was charged with pulling a firearm on a business rival's son. When he got out, he came to 7news and told us what it was like:..
Yoni Rosado, Cavetubing.com
"You see it from other stories and movies and when it happens to you, you cannot really believe it. I was sleeping after work on Wednesday, so Thursday morning I was getting up as usual, I picked up my kids to take them to school and about 6:30 in the morning I saw the police ran in the house like I was some type of criminal, I ask him how can I help and the officer say to me that he was looking for Yhony Rosado. I told him that I am here sir.
CCJ Delivers A Slapdown To GOB On Dividend Issue
Tonight the Government of Belize is smarting after the CCJ put a smackdown judgment on it today.
It's about the BTL dividends. As we told you yesterday, the Court of Appeal lifted a 3 month restraint imposed by the Caribbean Court of Justice - which ended on December 14th. With that out of the way, BTL could go ahead and pay the dividend - which had been declared at its Annual General Meeting in September.
And so this morning, bright and early at 8:00 am, BTL's Chairman proceeded to issue cheques for almost 12 million dollars in dividends. But, an emergency CCJ hearing was pending - to review the Court of Appeal decision. That was set for 9:00 am - by which time, the dividend cheques had already been cut.
That's what the attorney for the government Denys Barrow told the Court - but the President of the CCJ bristled when heard of the development. He directed Government to put back the money in an escrow account by 2:00 pm today.
Here's how attorneys for both sides described it today:...
Eamon Courtenay - Attorney for the British Caribbean Bank
"The court of Appeal had dismissed the application for the injunctions, and you will remember that what the Caribbean Court of Justice had said was that Telemedia was not to deal with the question of dividends before December 14, which is today. We came to court this morning, and Mr. Barrow informed the court that at 8:05 this morning, Belize Telemedia apparently paid out the dividends. I think that you were present in court, and you can see that the court - to quote the president - is very troubled by what has happened. The president went further and said that it should not have happened. The truth of the matter is that what we have here is a continuation of the rogue-like behavior.
BTL Exec Chairman Says Small Shareholders Suffer Dividend Block Most
As we told you in our top segment, it's been a day of confusion for BTL shareholders; first their dividend checques were paid, and then suddenly they weren't, the decision of the Caribbean Court of Justice.
They couldn't get the checques at the Annual General Meeting in September, and now there is an air of uncertainty surrounding the issue because the court order will not be lifted until the CCJ fully hears the this application to extend the conservative order.
And when that hearing is completed, there is a chance that the CCJ could rule in the favor of Boyce and BCB, which would mean that no dividends will be paid until the CCJ makes the decision.
So tonight, and for the next few weeks, the company remains in limbo unable to do anything with that money.
This evening at the soft launch of the BTL 4g service, 7News caught up with the Executive Chairman of BTL. We asked him about the decision to issue them today. He told us that he and other board members were blind-sided by this decision when they were informed that they must retract the checks that the issued:
Opposition Rejects New Crime Measures
The House of Representatives met today in Belmopan to debate and vote on an entire raft of new legislative measures that were introduced two weeks ago.
Foremost among them were the amendments to the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Amendment Bill - which seeks to update to current legislation in a few meaningful ways.
The Prime Minister explained and a quite heated debate got started after that:..
Prime Minister Dean Barrow
"The way the law is currently structured the minister needs the concurrence of the Crimes Control Council. Crimes Control Council Mr. Speaker has been defunct for a number of years and so to try to get them together to give the minister that concurrence that he needed proved very difficult indeed. There was a question of whether the members were even still validly in place. What we are doing is to say now that the minister will have to get hence forth the concurrence of the National Security Council of this country. In addition to that we are giving the minister rather more flexibility under this bill to have the declaration lasts for a longer period in each 24 hours."
Gov't Says Ombudsman Not A "Party-Flunky"
The appointment of a new ombudsman also stirred debate. As we told you two weeks ago, he is 45 year old Toledo resident Lionel Arzu. He takes up the post in January after it has been vacant for a year.
And while Arzu is a teacher and an academic, the Leader of the Opposition says he fears that Cabinet gave him the job because he is a UDP supporter.
Hon. Francis Fonseca
"I certainly hope that this is just not just another case of the UDP government finding a job for a good UDP. It certainly does not instill any confidence in us on this side Mr. Speaker when we see that Mr. Arzu's two primary references; the two persons offering strong references for him for this job and these references are attached to this application or the former UDP representative for the Toledo East Mr. Peter Eden Martinez."
Hon. Patrick Faber
"For them now to taint old Mr. Arzu as a UDP - I don't know Mr. Arzu and in fact several others of the Cabinet members don't know Mr. Arzu and that was why we had to ask who is this man and in fact the former mayor and the former representative did give their nod to say that they know Mr. Arzu to be a man of good character - that don't means to say that the man is a UDP flunky - he did not put Peter Eden Martinez as his recommender.
Festively Clad Finnegan Says He's Feeling "Hugo"
And there was also a lighter side to today's house meeting. Senior member and UDP Party Whip Michael Finnegan was suitably dressed for the pre-Christmas House Meeting - when he digressed to a matter of public interest: those anti-Dean Barrow ads that you see on the news every night.
He says he's feeling Hugo Chavez, not Barack Obama in the Mesopotamia division:..
Hon. Michael Finnegan
"They have an advertisement where they tried to demonize the Prime Minister. I don't know if you look bad and you are simple because you say Obama don't give us anything - God knows it's true. I don't feel him in Mesopotamia at all. I feel Hugo in Mesopotamia and I am not an ideological kind of politician but I am telling you the truth - I feel Hugo there. Then what is it to stand up and tell the man from IDB Moreno that he is a coward and he is basically in my view dishonest because he renege on what he promise to the Prime Minister. I would want to be the Prime Minister - I want to be manly like you sir - it shows that you have "bolas.""
Ferryman Found Dead: Was It Murder Or Suicide
A man was found dead at the Baking Pot Ferry in the Cayo district at 7:00 this morning. He was found hanging - which suggests it was a suicide, but his family and co-worker say they think it was foul play.
We visited the area today:..
Jules Vasquez reporting
Here at the Baking Pot crossing, the life of a ferryman is mostly worry free. But today, this ferry operator says he feels shaken after his co-worker, the night shift man, 40 year old Martin Cesar Castellanos was found dead on the ferry this morning.
He was found hanging from this crossbar at 6:00 am - police estimate that he had been there for 3 hours. He was last seen yesterday.
Maria Castellanos, Wife of Deceased
"Yesterday around 3:30 he was here all day with us and then he went to work, I didn't see him again."
"You saw him yesterday, how did he seem?"
Eliud Cruz, Ferryman
"He looked all right and fresh. He took over the shift at 4pm because he works from 4-7 the next morning."
What happened between yesterday evening and this morning is unknown - did he kill himself, or was he killed?
"I understand that he had a confrontation a while ago with someone. Did you know of anything like that or why anyone would want to kill him?"
Man Loses Life In Hit And Run
Another life was lost on the Northern Highway last night - it is the second one in a week. This one appears to be a hit and run which happened shortly after 6:00 yesterday evening in the village of San Jose San Pablo in the Orange Walk District. CTV3 News reports that 76 year old Primitivo Pott was knocked down a stone's throw away from his son's home where he lived.
It was raining at the time and a white pickup truck, reportedly travelling at high speed knocked down Pott and drove off.
Primitivo Pott was launched into the air and landed on his back in the middle of the highway. He received massive injuries to the head and died on the spot. The driver of the pickup truck he is yet to be identified.
Special Branch, More Weed and Weapons
The Special Branch continues to come up with major weed and weapon busts. Yesterday evening at 5:30, the special Branch directed police to an abandoned lot in "Brides Alley" which turned up a buried .38 special Revolver. No one was found in the area.
On the same operation searches were made in another abandoned lot on Pinks alley, which also led to a black Plastic bag containing 103 grams of Cannabis.
Christmas With Choral Society
By now, unless you've been under a rock somewhere - you probably know about the Digicell 10th Anniversary Concert. But if dancehall Reggae's not your thing, then there's the Chorale Society's annual Christmas Concert.
One of the members of the Choral Society stopped by to tell us what you can expect tomorrow night: Here's what she told us:
Courtney Gillett, Member - Belize Choral Society
"The concert is our annual event; one of two, we have one in June. This one is going to be held at the Holy redeemer Parish Hall starting at 8pm and tickets are $15 and you can get tickets from me or any of the other members and you can also get at the door."
"What can the public who may want to go expect?"
"You can expect a musical fusion. We have Latin pieces, we are singing some of Dr. Colville Young's Christmas selections; "Neighbor get up," "What a glory," and we also have some contemporary Christmas carols that we will be singing, just pieces that you can enjoy and really appreciate at Christmas time."
Sister Yaya Protests Concert At MCC
And while that will be at the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall, the weekend's other big concert will be at the MCC Grounds.
But as we've been reporting for several days now, the Football Federation of Belize is unhappy that the MCC Grounds is being used as the venue.
Well, social activist Yaya Marin-Coleman has taken up the cause and from 6 p.m. this evening, she began a one-woman protest against the concert.
15 minutes later, she was joined by FFB president, Ruperto Vicente, who, along with the FFB have aligned themselves with the protest. We caught up with them and they told us that even though they are only 2, they have followers who are with them in spirit:
"It's not the first time I know of where Belizean people are making it known that they are not happy, they are not pleased, they are not satisfy with the MCC field is getting used for anything other than sports. I just take the responsibility that I will demonstrate and the way things worked out is that I did get a permit after all so that other people could have joined me. there are stipulations of course about how you conduct yourself out here."
But, the Show Goes On...
And while the protest goes on, for concertgoers, so does the party.
No doubt, with 10 featured acts, tonight's Digicell Concert is the concert event of the year. Yesterday we spoke with headliner Beenie Man - and today another very popular Reggae artist arrived. He is Baby Cham and he told Monica Bodden why it's more than just a regular show and how he plans to turn it up:..
"When you talked about "tun up" that the thing that everyone is talking about right now. What does that mean?"
Baby Cham - Dancehall artist
"It's like you have kids - you know how it feel; when you have a new born it's like you wish so much for this child and you hope for so much blessings and prosperity - it's just like a song. in the studio when you record "tun up" there is no way - you want people to accept like that but you are not expecting everywhere in the world that understands English and loves dancehall and reggae music to be saying "tun up" and every female taking it to their heart to raise their self-esteem no matter what or how it may sound but it does it."
BTL Soft-Launches 4G
And while DIgicell is celebrating 10 years, BTL is upgrading its cellular network to 4G capability. Today, the company held what they called a "soft launch" of the network.
7News stopped by and we asked the public relations manager what they mean by "soft launch".
Here's how she explained it, along with what customers can expect:
Anjali Vasquez - Public Relations Manager
"It basically means that today we put on some of friendly user testers, some of our business people - selected few people who will help us sort of break the ice and initiate the 4G service. These people are being put on and if you take a look there are quite a few here. They are being put on as we speak, so that we work out the kinks before we commercially launch to the public next week which we will announce that date. Besides just launching 4G service the first of its kind in Belize - there is a huge concert tonight December 14 and we have a whole lot os promotions coming up in the next week.
Put it back! But government refuses CCJ order
We reported on Thursday that the Court of Appeal had dismissed an application by Dean Boyce and the British Caribbean Bank to prohibit Telemedia from paying dividends arising from this year’s Annual General Meeting. We also reported that, on the heels of that decision, the Caribbean Court of Justice had issued a notice late in [...]
Top cop’s son, Leal Jr., shames name with 43 pounds of weed
Twenty-seven year old Noel Richard Leal Junior, the son of the Assistant Commissioner of Police, was busted on Thursday afternoon with some forty-three pounds of marijuana. The drug was found in two vehicle tires he was carrying in the pan of his Ford pick-up truck. Leal was intercepted by a police patrol on a road [...]
Ferry Operator was found dead near Spanish Lookout
A ferry operator was found dead near Spanish Lookout this morning. The body of Martin Cesar Castellanos was found suspended from a ferry but police are treating it as a case of sudden death. The family says that the circumstances show that Castellanos could not have taken his own life and furthermore they have information [...]
Dangerous powers, entire country can be declared crime-ridden
The last sitting of the House of Representatives for this year was convened today. A number of Bills came up for second and third readings but the most controversial was an amendment to the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Act. Several changes were proposed and passed, which the opposition described as draconian since it moves [...]
Opposition concerned about selection process for new ombudsman
The appointment of forty-five year old Lionel Arzu as the next ombudsman will be signed off by the Governor General in the days ahead. Arzu, has been recommended by the government to succeed former ombudsman Cynthia Pitts, whose three-year contract was not renewed when it expired in January. Following advertisement of the post, Arzu, was [...]
Yohhny Rosado, cave tubing tour guide, got a personal prison tour
Yohhny Rosado, the owner of Cavetubing.com and tourism activist, spent Thursday in prison after being charged in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court for Aggravated Assault with a Firearm upon Vitalino Reyes Junior. The alleged incident occurred about three months ago when Reyes claims Rosado went to his property in Frank’s Eddy Village, pointed a gun at [...]
Sanjay and Lino get committed for separate attempted murder
Two young Belize City men will stand trial in the January session of the Supreme Court for separate indictable offenses including attempted murder, murder and conspiracy to commit murder. The first to be committed was Robert Tracey who has been accused of attempting to take the life of Loren Lennon, a former Security Guard of [...]
Family time: Mom and 2 sons busted for weed
A mother and her two sons were on trial today for a drug trafficking offense, allegedly committed in July of 2011. Twenty-seven year old Dennis Sanchez, his brother, Derrick and their mother, forty-six year old Sheril, were jointly charged for trafficking sixty-three point two grams of cannabis found inside their family yard in Ladyville. When [...]
Will electricity go up in 2013? A definite maybe
Belize Electricity Limited (B.E.L.) is saying that the acquisition cost of electricity is going up but will it be reflected in your light bills? To answer that question, we spoke to B.E.L. today. They explained that currently the hydro dams are below operational levels and there is also a weak production of electricity from BELCOGEN [...]
Liberty Children Fundraiser for the kids
Liberty Children’s Home continues to face financial challenges, which have been compounded recently by a series of burglaries. It has created additional expenses for the charity foundation to replace the stolen items as well as to implement and maintain new security measures. Fortunately, they received assistance from the Seattle based organization, Professionals without Borders, which [...]
Cycling gets political too?
Elections for a new executive of the Cycling Association Elections were first postponed from the twenty-fourth of November to December eighth and then to January twentieth, 2013. Deputy Mayor Dion Leslie is challenging President Emil Moreno. The President of the Pan-American Cycling Federation, Jose Manuel Palaez Rodriguez, wrote to the Minister of Sports to say [...]
Ho Ho Ho; Belize Bank Part for Stella Maris kids
The students from Stella Maris were treated to a fancy carnival party on Wednesday, courtesy of the Belize Bank’s community outreach. Aside from the food and games, Santa and Misses Claus were on hand to deliver the well earned gifts to each student to make their Christmas more meaningful. Duane Moody joined in the celebrations. [...]
Special Needs Students Benefits From Donations
The Stella Maris School and the Academy for the Deaf in Belize City today received a donation of valuable piece of recreational equipment. The custom-made swing set was donated by the Belize Bank which is a corporate sponsor of the institution that caters for children with specia...
Salvation Army Church Hosts Christmas Party For Children
The Salvation Army church today hosted its annual Christmas lunch and party for children from around Belize City. Over a thousand primary school children from various institutions were present at the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall for the event. This year’s Christmas party...
Renowned Bar Owner Fined For Illegal Employment
Fifty-eight year old Raul Magana, the owner of Temptation Bar, located at mile 10 on the George Price Highway, was fined a total of $23,000.00 when he pled guilty to 12 counts of employing persons not in possession of employment permits. Magistrate Adolph Lucas also ordered Magana to p...
Indian Couple Fined For Fake Visa
An Indian couple, 25 year old Chetankumar Patel and his wife, 28 year old Jagrutiben Patel , both of them students, were each fine $2,000.00 today in Court after they pled guilty to attempting to use a visa permit not issued by lawful authority. Magistrate Adolph Lucas ordered them to ...
2012/2013 Crop Season Sweeter Than Sugar
The 2012/2013 crop season kicked off on November 28th, at exactly 10:00 in the morning. The first week of crop got off to a good start and so has the second week. This week, 40,854 tons of cane was milled by the factory totaling to 93,316 since the season begun. This is an increase from last year’s crop season which saw the milling of 65,932 tons of cane after the first 2 weeks. Last crop season, 5,760 tons of sugar was produced in the first 2 weeks. The 2012/2013 crop season saw a 5,760 increase in tons of sugar produced. 1,606 tons of mud was extracted this week, which totals to a sum of 3,839 tons of mud being extracted this week; a 579 increase from last year. This week, 302 tons of cane was grinded per hour; this is an increase from the 264 tons which was grinded in the 1st 2 weeks of last year’s crop. This week, juice purity was at 83.70%, totaling to 83.63 for this year’s crop season so far, an increase from last year’s 83.04%. TCTS stood at 10.85% this week, and for the two weeks at 10.76%, seeing a decrease from last year’s crop which stood at 11.45% for the 1st two weeks of crop. The dry weather supported the harvest week, but rain is needed for the late 2012 fields. For the Christmas season cane will be received up to 10:00am on Sunday December 23rd. The factory will resume operations at 10:00am on December 27th.
Anti Virus Guru Faces $5 million lawsuit
But while the man of the hour might have managed to escape the long arms of Belizean Law, he is already facing a law suit in the U.S. Tonight it seems McAfee has jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire and it remains to be seen if there is anywhere else he can run to escape the heat. The Software tycoon faces a $5m lawsuit over the death of 61 year old Robert Gilson from Arizona.
Gilson's family blame McAfee for the horrific crash of the married father-of-three who was taking lessons in aero trekking- a sport that McAfee invented himself and involves flying a trike with and engine at speeds of 75mph.
The wrongful death lawsuit alleges that McAfee hired his 22-year-old nephew, Joel Bitow, as flight instructor even though he didn't possess the right qualifications. Bitow then took Gilson to one of the most dangerous parts of the canyon in Arizona where they suddenly lost control and went into a spiral dive to their deaths.
Police Investigate Burning Of Cane Field
Adelita Keme, 45 year old Belizean domestic of San Narciso Village Corozal District, reported to police that about 11:00am on 12th of December she sent her workers to burn her cane field located in the San Narciso Village Corozal. Upon reaching the cane field the employees observed that the crop had already been burnt down by Arnoldo Correa, the complainant’s brother, and his workers. To avoid conflict Keme’s employees left the area and informed their employer about what had transpired. According to Keme, upon visiting the area she noticed that the 10 acres of cane field, valued at approximately $8,000, had been burnt down without her permission. While there she confronted her brother who threatened her. Fearing for her life Keme left the area and reported the matter to Police who are now carrying out their investigations.
John McAfee Back In Miami Florida
After being on the run for one month, anti virus Guru John McAfee has managed to dodge the laws of Belize. John MacAfee was deported to the U.S from Guatemala were he left his 20 year old girlfriend Samantha Vanegas. Yesterday afternoon McAfee boarded an American Airlines flight back to Miami Florida after he entered Guatemala illegally about one week ago.
The fugitive software tycoon wanted for questioning in Belize over the murder of his American neighbor, spoke to reporters at a hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, on Wednesday night. Here is what he told reporters.
In an interview given to ABC after landing in Miami yesterday, McAfee said he'd been faking illness in Guatemala. Asked if his apparent heart problem in court there was a ruse, he said, "Of course. It kept me from going back to Belize."
He said all his money and assets were still in banks in Belize and he had left Guatemala with just his clothes and shoes. He held up a stack of 5-dollar bills and said a stranger had given them to him after he arrived in Miami. McAfee also said he had made up stories while he was on the run to gain news coverage, although it was unclear what parts of the tale he was referring to. "What's a better story (than) millionaire madman on the run?" he told ABC.
Santa At Saint Peters School
Christmas season is here and with it the end of the 1st term of classes. Various primary schools across the country celebrated the end of classes with the traditional Christmas Party and added to the list this year was St. Peters Anglican School. Today we visited the school where we found students, teachers and parents having a jolly good time.
Rosanna Briceno – Principal St. Peters Anglican School
“Every year teachers plan mini or class parties but actually not all the teachers and plan the party properly so we decided it is Christmas and the kids have done a lot in participating in so many things so we decided to do a whole Christmas party for the entire school.”
Today, St. Peter’s fed 275 children plus teachers and parents thanks to donations made by the teachers, customs department, the ministry of education, and the business community. With a huge smile on their face each student enjoyed every moment of the Christmas Party organized especial for them.
But truth of the fact is that these students together with the institution have come a long way. St. Peters Anglican School has too often been perceived as a school that is solely for children with special needs, but Principal Rosanna Briceno expresses that this perception is far from the truth.
Honouring La Virgen De Guadalupe
Yesterday around the world catholic faithful celebrated the last day of the novenas a La Virgen De Guadalupe and Belize was not the exception. Early yesterday, even before dawn, the mañanitas was dedicated to the Virgin who has her origin in the Mexican territory when she appeared to faithful Catholic Juan Diego on December 9th of 1534 on the Tepeyac Hill. Last night we captured the last novena in the village of Trial Farm where faithful flocked to the celebration.
December 12 marks the birthday of the Virgin of Guadalupe which is celebrated each year, since 1534, in a series of Novenas which starts on the 3rd of December and finalizes on the 12th of December when it is believed that the Virgin of Guadalupe made her final appearance on the cloak of Juan Diego. Last night, in Trial Farm Village, a faithful catholic family hosted the celebrations at their premises where Catholics from as far as Belize City and even Crooked Tree gathered to offer their prayers, graces and petitions to their Saint.
Gumersendo Richard “Indian”
“Tonight we had a procession then we will have prayers and after the prayers we will have a dance. What we do we do it from the bottom of our hearts and at the same time after the prayers we have free food, free drinks and free dance everything is free we don’t charge one cents for nothing.”
Guatemalan Nationality Applications In Belize Put On Hold
A number of Guatemalans who renounced to their nationality should be sworn in at Capital City Belmopan this December 21st. But apparently they won’t be getting a Belizean citizenship. The new Minister of Immigration Honorable Godwin Hulse is not convinced that the current renunciation procedure for Guatemalans is effective. What that implies? Easy, Belize law requires that for any Guatemalan to become a Belizean they must first renounce their Guatemalan nationality. In practice, all that means is filling out a form at the Immigration office and signing it. However, such a renunciation is not legal in Guatemala since their law states that to properly renounce their citizenship a person must make it formal in that country - by sending in their passport - and filling out a formal Guatemalan renunciation form. The Guatemalan Ministry Of Foreign Affairs must then accept the application in order for the renunciation to be official. With the current manner in which the procedure is done in Belize citizens can still return to Guatemala to regain a new passport.
So, all Guatemalan nationality applications in Belize are currently on hold. But what the thousands of Guatemalan - Belizeans who in the past have gotten by with the meaningless paper renunciation? We tried reaching the Immigration departments both in Belize City and Belmopan to comment on the issue but all our calls proved futile.
Re: Today's Belize News: December 15, 2012
12/15/12 09:02 AM
12/15/12 09:02 AM
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Indian nationals caught with fake Belize visa
An Indian couple, 25 year old Chetankumar Patel and his wife, 28 year old Jagrutiben Patel , both of them students, were each fine $2,000.00 today in Court after they pled guilty to attempting to use a visa permit not issued by lawful authority. Magistrate Adolph Lucas ordered them to pay the fines forthwith and told them that if they default on payment they will serve one year. He also ordered that they be deported to their country of origin. They paid the fines and avoided the prison sentence. The facts of the case revealed that the couple, who were living in Bolivia for three months, came to Belize yesterday via a flight from El Salvador. When they arrived at Phillip Goldson International Airport immigration officers checked their passports and saw that there were discrepancies in their visa permits. The investigation unit of the Immigration Department was called in and upon inspection it was confirmed that the visas were not authentic. As a result, the couple was detained and charged. Further investigation by immigration officers revealed that the couple obtained the visas in Bolivia and went from Bolivia to Peru and then to Equador and from Equador to El Salvador. They then came to Belize to visit and they had made reservations to stay at Red hut Inn in Bella Vista.
Police recover firearm and weed; carpenter charged
Belize City carpenter, forty six year old Delroy Chambers was busted with a loaded firearm and drugs on his property early yesterday morning. According to police report, they searched Chambers’ house around twelve-fifty yesterday morning; but found nothing incriminating. Police say they then searched a coconut tree in Chambers’ yard where they found a nine millimeter Lugar brand firearm and a magazine containing nine live rounds of ammunition. Police say they also found one thousand, five hundred and twenty five grams of marijuana along with the firearm. As a result, Chambers was arrested and charged for the crimes of Drug Trafficking and keeping an Unlicensed Firearm and Ammunition.
News from the Crime Beat
Fifty-eight year old Raul Magana, the owner of Temptation Bar, located at mile 10 on the George Price Highway, was fined a total of $23,000.00 when he pled guilty to 12 counts of employing persons not in possession of employment permits. Magistrate Adolph Lucas also ordered Magana to pay the cost for the return of the 12 women to their country of origin. Magana has to pay the fines between December 28, 2012 and November 30, 2013. Around 9 p.m. yesterday immigration officers went to Temptation Bar where they observed 12 women there who admitted that they were employed by Magana but they did not have employment permits. As a result, Magana and the women were detained and Magana was charged.
A 17 year old boy was attacked and robbed at gunpoint on Wednesday night in Belize City. Because of his age, the name of the victim cannot be released; but the teenager and his sister were walking on Dolphin Street around 8:45 pm Wednesday when he was hit in the head with a firearm by one of two men who approached from behind. When the gunman hit the teen in his head with the weapon, the other attacker proceeded to search his pocket, relieving him of his cell phone, I-pod and fold earrings, all to a total value of $1,050. After the jacking, both culprits ran away in different directions. The police are investigating.
A Belize City woman was left traumatized after she was held up, tied up robbed at her workplace, a small stationary and electronics establishment on Cleghorn Street on Wednesday morning. The woman, who asked that her identity be not revealed, was at work around 10:15 am Wednesday when two men walked in and one asked to get a document copied. When the woman turned around to go fill the order, one of the men pulled out a weapon and held her up. The unmasked men proceeded to duck-tape her feet and tied both of her hands. They then proceeded to help themselves to three laptop computers and about $200 in cash from the drawer. All total, the robbers made off with $7,900 worth of stolen items. The frightened woman says the thieves also took away her passport and threatened to go looking for her if she went to the police station to make a report.
Graduation held for apprentices
Since 2010 the Ministry of Education’s Apprenticeship Program has been turning out young persons who at some point in their lives made a wrong turn but are now making a positive difference. Today, the program, headed by Dianne Finnegan, graduated its third enrollment of 113 young apprentices, who have spent the last six months of their lives at various workplaces getting on-the-job training in specified fields of work. It was a bittersweet moment for Finnegan, who was elated at the youths’ accomplishment, but saddened at the loss of one.
The aim of the program is to equip the youths with the knowledge, skills and competence they will need to get a job and hold onto it. Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, challenged the graduates to prove their worth in society and to disprove everyone who treats them with disdain.
But while Minister Faber challenged the youths to excel, Mrs Finnegan was candid in her thoughts about the limited opportunities available to troubled youths.
A number of the past apprentices who completed in the first two enrollments have been gainfully employed at businesses throughout Belize City. The program started out with 30 students and has expanded to as many as 150. They receive a stipend of 100 dollars a week from the Ministry for their effort.
Lotto winner claims her prize two months after winning
A Belize City woman is fifty thousand dollars richer tonight, but her luck did not come in the recent jackpot draws. In fact, 51 year old Karen Lanza was not even in the country in October when she realized that she had won.
Lanza’s prize was 57 thousand 500 dollars and after taxes she collected 48 thousand 875 dollars. Meanwhile, the next jackpot for Saturday’s draw is 105 thousand dollars.
Concert artists arrive for Friday’s event
Imported artists who have been booked to perform this weekend in Belize City arrived at the Phillip Goldson International Airport today. Our colleagues from MORE FM were there and spoke with the performers.
The artists are scheduled to perform on Friday at the MCC Grounds in Belize City.
Belize Zoo celebrates important milestone
The Belize Zoo this week celebrated a special milestone. Love TV’s Marion Ali and video journalist Brian Castillo report from La Democracia village.
Third reading of the appointment of the Ombudsman sparks lively debate
This afternoon’s House Meeting was filled with its own style of pageantry and there was heated banter in the House ...
PM made derogatory reference to the comments of House member.
After members from both sides of the house had commented on the appointment of Lionel Arzu as the country's new Omb...
Telemedia dividend payouts put on pause again by court injunction
In media broadcast last night it was aired that BTL was getting ready to make dividend payout totaling almost 12 mi...
Second reading of Trafficking in Persons prevention Bill
The Hon. Anthony Boots Martinez, who is the Minister of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Allevi...
Current renunciation process for Guatemalans is not effective
A fresh set of new Belizean citizens will be sworn in on December 21st in Belmopan. But there may be a contingent o...
The Football Federation of Belize has been busy re-constituting itself
The Football Federation of Belize has been busy re-constituting itself... as an injection of new blood has re-fuell...
Deon MaCauley aims to play professional football abroad
Earlier in the news we featured interviews with a couple of the players from the National Football selection. Just ...
Lady mugged near Primary School in Belmopam
Yesterday morning just before the 11:30am bell a mugging took place near to the United Evergreen Primary School in ...
Belmopan People’s Coalition rehabilitate Police Station
Belmopan People’s Coalition is getting their gears working. Last month Plusnews had announced that the coalition ha...
National Aids Commission meets in a two days
National Assembly in Belize City
Today the National Aids Commission met in a two days National Assembly in Belize City, where all partners and stake...
A firearm is recovered in Corozal Town
A firearm is recovered in Corozal Town. At 1:15pm yesterday, Police conducted a search on an empty lot in the Rainb...
Special Branch hauls in more drugs and a firearm in Belize City
Special Branch hauls in more drugs and a firearm in Belize City. Yesterday at 5:35 pm, based on Special Branch info...
Quick Police response recovers stolen skiff and engine
Quick Police response leads to the recovery of a stolen skiff and engine. A 28year old Boat Captain of #3650 Mauric...
YAYA PLANS 24-HOUR PROTEST FOR MCC FIELD
Belizean journalist and social activist from behind the Zinc Fence, YaYa Marin Coleman said today that she will stage a 24-hour protest against the continued abuse of the MCC football field by the holding of concerts there. The MCC, already poorly maintained, is the traditional Mecca of Belize City football, and its playing surface can only be further damaged by the placing of bandstands and other heavy structures on the grass surface. The football community, including the President of the Football Federation of Belize, has repeatedly appealed to the National Sports Council to stop this practice. (See FFB press release on page 44 in this issue.)
The last time, about a month ago, that a big concert was planned by NICH at the MCC, they hearkened to the appeal from the public and the FFB President and moved the event to another venue. But this time, the organizers seem hell bent on trampling on footballers’ sacred turf.
YaYa says she plans to protest alone. She will walk up and down a portion of the sidewalk in front of the MCC from the corner of Calle Al Mar and Newtown Barracks Road.
“Jah will protect me,” replied YaYa, when we expressed concern about her safety through the long night hours alone.
HATTIEVILLE STUNS BROWN BOMBERS FOR MUNDIALITO CHAMPIONSHIP; YWAM U-12 AND U-15 DISCIPLINE BELIZE DISTRICT SELECTIONS
It was a classic climax to a well sponsored, organized and run youth football tournament – the Smart 13 & Under Mundialito, which kicked off on Saturday, September 29, and finished right on schedule with the championship match 11 weeks later on Sunday, December 9, at the MCC Grounds. There were 10 teams in the tournament, and it was a single round-robin; thus, each team had 9 games in their regular season schedule, all on Saturdays. That was followed by knockout semifinals last week Saturday, and then the one-game 3rd place and championship Finals this past Sunday.
Brown Bombers had accomplished a feat of sorts, not only completing the regular season undefeated, but they did it without conceding a single goal in their 9 games, of which only 1 was won by default. One of those victories, 2-0, was against Hattieville, who ended the regular season in 3rd position, having lost only once, to Brown Bombers.
In the semifinals on Saturday, December 1, the Bombers easily disposed of 4th ranked Third World, 2-0; while Hattieville had to go to penalties before getting the win over 2nd ranked United Rangers.
With the MCC vacant, F.C. Belize having failed to make the Premier League playoffs, the Mundialito organizers shifted their final games to Sunday, along with a couple exhibitions featuring Belize District/Mundialito selections against a YWAM U-12 selection and their Gold Medal U-15 team from Belmopan.
HENRY PATNETT, 23, CONVICTED OF ATTEMPTED MURDER, WOUNDING AND CHILD DESTRUCTION
Henry Patnett, 23, was found guilty today of attempted murder, wounding and child destruction after a jury of 9 – 8 women and 1 man – deliberated for just under 3 hours.
Patnett was charged with the attempted murder of Valerie Sheran; the wounding of Ernesto Ireland; and with child destruction for the dead, premature neonate (baby) that was extracted from Sheran’s womb.
Patnett, who was undefended in court, was accused of stabbing his ex common-law wife, Valerie Sheran, 30, who, at the time, was 7 months pregnant with his child.
Ernesto Ireland, 71, Sheran’s current boyfriend, was with her at the time of the attack, and in trying to protect her from further injury, was himself injured by Patnett.
On August 2, 2010, in the wee hours of the morning, Sheran and Ireland were at her house asleep in her bedroom when Patnett entered and attacked Sheran with a machete. Sheran was first stabbed in her left breast, then in her abdomen.
In her testimony to the court, she recounted that she struggled with Patnett for the machete and after wresting it from him, he pulled a knife. During her struggle with Patnett, Ireland awoke, and after realizing that she had been stabbed, fought with Patnett. But his fight with Patnett only resulted in him suffering injuries to his hand.
Editorial: MCAFEE AND LISA MERZ IN OUR HOUSE
The recent episodes involving U.S. visitors John McAfee and Lisa Merz provided graphic examples for Belizeans of tourism’s damaging effects when it spins out of control. McAfee’s wealth was compromising the morality of our young ladies, and Merz’s importance to the San Pedro Ambergris Caye economy resulted in a Cabinet Minister’s interfering in the legal process in order to get special treatment for her.
Those of us Belizeans who reside in this house, our house, do so because we don’t want to or because we can’t, go to the United States. We know that the United States is the world’s superpower, the largest economy on planet earth, and we know that, by comparison, we are a very small and perhaps marginal nation. As a result of having achieved political independence in 1981, nevertheless, we Belizeans have the right to decide whom we want to invite and accept in our house.
During his years in power, Mr. Price was careful with this tourism thing. In the Caribbean, former British possessions like Jamaica and Barbados were going crazy over tourism. In Cuba, however, the region should have learned a lesson. Tourism can undermine a small country’s nationalism, compromise its integrity, and mock the dignity of its citizens. In Cuba, out-of-control American tourism had ended up sparkling a violent revolution, which triumphed in 1959 and, in retaliation, declared itself communist.
The problem with tourism is simple. Successful nation-states are built on a work ethic and a basic morality. It is expected that adult citizens put in an honest day’s work, and it is expected that adult citizens give maximum respect to the family concept. Tourism encourages none of these things when it spins out of control. Citizens of host communities and societies find that they can make relatively easy money providing illegal and immoral services for visitors, and the more wealthy of these visitors are not here to encourage family values.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
The Grigamandala project, or experiment, lasted only a single semi-pro football season – 1999/2000, but there are a couple of the Belize City players from that project who have become active and exemplary working with young footballers in Belize City. These are Stanley “Air Jordan” Reneau and Dion “Pussy” Flowers. I guess we on Partridge Street would like to think that the Grigamandala experience contributed to their maturing and community awareness.
We had some specific young men we felt were in absolute need of such a project. These were young men out of the Mayflower/Banak area of Southside Belize City. Neither Reneau or Flowers came out of that area, so they were not the primary targets of our exercise. If the Grigamandala experience was positive for Jordan and Pussy, then perhaps those benefits may be described as ancillary.
Some history is necessary here. There was a time when Belize City only reached as far as Pound Yard. Going west from the area where the Vernon Street fish market is presently located, where the Haulover Creek and Collet Canal intersect, the area west of that used to be all mangrove swamp, and in the middle of that swamp was a body of fresh water that we knew as “Prisoner Creek” in the 1950s. In line with his Belizean self-esteem and nationalism program, Premier George Price began referring to Prisoner Creek by the lofty title of “Lake Independence.” This was when Belizeans in the old capital, mostly working class, were beginning to push westwards in the 1960s.
PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE MEETINGS TO GO PUBLIC
In a short meeting held at the National Assembly in Belmopan, the members of the Public Accounts Committee finally agreed this Monday — after debating divided positions — that it would make its meetings open to the public.
PAC Chairman, Julius Espat, informed Amandala that the five committee members present agreed, however, that the first two PAC meetings, slated for 2013, at which they will sort out procedural matters, will be private.
The next meeting is scheduled for January 14, 2013.
Espat also noted that there may be exceptional circumstances, such as for national security reasons, when PAC sessions would have to be private.
Espat said he is happy to have gotten what they were lobbying for from the beginning – open meetings.
Espat is one of two Opposition People’s United Party members on PAC.
The ruling United Democratic Party has four of six seats.
BEL MAKES SUBMISSION TO PUC AS REQUIRED BY SI 116 OF 2009
“Cost of power has increased more than 30 per cent” – BEL
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL), in accordance with Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 116 of 2009, section 7, and in compliance with the Public Utilities Commission’s (PUC) Rate Setting Methodology bye-laws, is making a submission to the PUC showing that cost of power has increased more than 30 per cent above the PUC’s approved reference cost of power. This significant increase in cost of power has been occurring since July 2012 due to various challenges faced by the three largest independent power producers that supply BEL with electricity.
According to the Law, BEL’s submission is to occur no later than 21 days prior to January 1, 2013, which may trigger a review for the period January to June 2013. In its January 25, 2012 press release on the PUC’s Full Tariff Review ruling, BEL noted that “…the proposed reductions [in the electricity rates] will only be sustainable if the actual cost of power remains at the projected level or lower.
“BEL is committed to doing all within its control to meet its cost of power projections and seek ways to lower it even further. BEL will be working closely with the PUC in this regard, and meetings on this matter have already commenced”.
Therefore, BEL is providing all the necessary information to the PUC to help inform their decision.
IDEAS AND OPINIONS – CREATION AND PROCREATION
In his book A brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking wrote that the whole of what is called the cosmos was contained in a particle of matter, infinitely small and infinitely dense, which grew and expanded prodigiously till it exploded and scattered the material of the universe into space many billions of years ago. To someone like me, who believes in logic and reason, that event can only be explained as a miracle. Logic and reason tell me that nothing cannot give birth to something. That miraculous particle that Stephen Hawking writes about could not create itself. So, assuming that what he postulates is a fact, that event confirms the existence of a Supreme Being, which Genesis affirms. And, it confirms also that before creation nothing material existed, which is the state that I will venture to describe in the next paragraph.
Before the Supreme Being, whom we call God, created the universe, which was before the Earth with animals, plants, other creatures, and finally human beings were created, there was nothing (no thing). Nothing animate or inanimate existed in what we call space. What is space? Space is only a name for nothingness.
To get an idea of space, consider that everything material that exists is in motion. The whole universe is hurtling through space at a great speed. The scientists say that the initial motive force of the universe began with an explosion, as described in the opening paragraph. If the galaxies were not in motion, they would fall, the way a stone would fall, through space, at a speed 33 feet per second, per second. Which means that in the first second, it would fall 33 feet, but in the next second its speed would increase to 66 feet per second, and so on. In five years, its rate of descent would be faster than the speed of light. The stone would continue to fall at an increasing rate of speed, unless it was destroyed by atmospheric friction. And since there was no atmosphere before creation, it would continue to fall forever. So would all the matter in the universe if they were motionless.
FROM THE FRYING PAN INTO THE FIRE?
McAfee boasts of eluding “inept” Belize police and fooling Guat officials, but now faces an expensive lawsuit in the US, about a man’s death
Antivirus pioneer John McAfee, 67, on the run from Belize police since the murder of his San Pedro neighbor and fellow American, Gregory Faull, on Sunday, November 11, gleefully reported from Miami on Wednesday night that he had fooled the Belize police, who he said were “inept,” and duped officials in Guatemala into admitting him to a hospital there on a fake heart attack report.
McAfee later admitted that he had faked the heart attack to buy his lawyers time to contest the effort by Belizean authorities to have him returned to Belize, because he was a “person of interest” in the murder of Faull.
For the past month McAfee has been one of the most talked about personalities in the media, blogging racy stories of his escapades, along with his 20-year-old Teakettle girlfriend, in avoiding the clumsy Belize police. Apart from denying that he killed Faull, McAfee kept insisting that Belize police wanted to kill him.
He escaped San Pedro Ambergris Caye, crossed over to the mainland, and then reached Guatemala reportedly on Monday, December 3, seeking asylum there, as Belize doesn’t have an extradition treaty with that country.
Although Belize authorities made it clear that they only wanted to talk to McAfee, he said he still feared returning to Belize.
ROSEWOOD MADNESS IN TOLEDO – ANOTHER BUST!
Earlier in the week there were reports of a bust of illegally harvested rosewood in Boom Creek, Toledo. Around 2,000 board feet of the hardwood were confiscated at that time and stored at the Machaka Hill Forest Station in Punta Gorda. Those logs, worth over BZ$100,000, were later stolen from the compound.
To add to that problem, Police and the Forestry Department came up on more illegally harvested rosewood yesterday, Wednesday. This time, the wood was found seven miles outside Punta Gorda. Those logs, too, were confiscated by authorities.
According to Wil Maheia of PGTV, the land owners of Gomez Estate noticed that logs from their property were going missing and alerted the Forestry and Police Departments. Maheia said that the wood was already attached to a trailer and tractor and seemed to have been ready for transportation.
According to reports, Chief Forestry Officer Wilber Sabido said that 20 pieces of rosewood were confiscated and transferred to the Punta Gorda Police Station, and another 50 pieces were transported to the Ministry of Works compound.
Sabido said that the Forestry Department is treating the situation “with the utmost confidentiality.” He also said that charges will be brought against those caught with the wood.
WATCHMAN MAULED TO DEATH BY DANGEROUS DOGS?
The body of a 66-year-old watchman of the Agricultural Development Service at Mile 9 on the Stann Creek Valley Road was found under a work shed on his work compound around 7:00 Wednesday morning. The body of Clive Bernard Coe had multiple dog bites to the face, arms and right leg.
According to police, near Coe’s body were two Fila Brasileiro dogs when a co-worker discovered him. It was almost as if the dogs were guarding the body, standing over him on opposite sides, facing each other.
Police said that when they arrived at the scene, Coe, of nearby Hope Creek Village, was laying face up on the ground with bite marks all over him, suggesting that the dogs had something to do with his death.
Police, however, are baffled, because Coe had raised the dogs from they were puppies, and together, they provided the security on the compound. They are not sure what happened. Police theorize that Coe may have suffered a heart attack and as a result fell down hitting some part of his body, causing bleeding. The scent of blood, they surmise, may have triggered the dogs to attack him.
FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE PASSES
The former president of the Senate under former Prime Minister Manuel Esquivel, Edward Flowers, 81, OBE, JP, died at about 1:00 this morning, Thursday, at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, after battling illness.
His wife of 53 years, Myrtle, told Amandala that she was at the KHMH earlier with him. She came home and shortly after, she got a phone call informing her that he had died. She said that he begun ailing earlier this year.
Myrtle said that she will always remember him as a man who loved his family. He was a father of 3 children and the grandfather of 8.
In his biography, Flowers said that he prided himself on being the student of National Hero, Hon. Philip Goldson, under whom he served as deputy party leader of the National Independence Party (NIP). Additionally, Edward Flowers worked with the Belize Estate Company ( BEC) and eventually rose to be deputy manager. He served on the executives of several non-governmental organizations as chairman, secretary or treasurer, including on the Belize Harbor Regatta Committee and Belize Ex-Servicemen League.
THANKS RURAL WATER SUPPLY CREW FOR PROMPT, GOOD SERVICE
Dear Mr. Banner,
I want to thank you and your staff there at the Ministry of Rural Development for the concern and quick attention with which you responded when I called a few weeks ago to report a hand pump (for a drill well) out of commission in Biscayne Village.
Because Rural Water Coordinator, Mr. Hilberto Lopez, was on leave when the problem occurred, you attended to the problem personally.
Not only did your crew get right on the job, but they called me three times from the field to check with me and inform me of the progress of the work.
I lodged the complaint to you on a Thursday evening and you promised you would send a crew out to check it on Friday – which you did.
The crew leader, Alfredo Coye, called me that Friday to say that they had identified the problem, and promised they would be back with the necessary parts to do the repairs on Monday – which they did.
TERRENCE MARTINEZ FROM THE SOUTH
Please allow me the opportunity to share with our people what I heard on Wave Radio this morning from Minister Patrick Faber. A caller from Dangriga voiced his opinion about the politricks towards Dangriga as one of “The Forgotten South”.
It was quite obvious that the caller ruffled some feathers, because Patrick and the other two gentlemen jumped like idiots, explaining about the building of schools, roads, scholarships, etc. here in Griga.
The drama was quite amazing to me, to the point where I had a very good laugh. It seemed as if the caller opened a can of worms and I loved every bit of it. We need more callers to voice their concerns so we can have the same reaction, and hopefully, they will all see the big picture.
Now here is my version. Looking at the big picture, I personally and honestly believe that the Southern districts have more to offer to our country’s economy via the tourism industry. I agree with some of the comments made by Mr. Faber and the other two gentlemen that the Hopkins road is a disaster.
Our people have been living on promises that this road would have been paved by both parties. Before I stray away from the picture, let me remind Mr. Faber and everyone else that the Southern districts have the longest coastal plain, the two deepest water ports, and so far, one of the two most peaceful districts in the country of Belize.
SAGA's Cook-Off Of Champions Packs Wet Willy's with Supporters
Last night SAGA Humane Society held a Cook-off of Champions to raise money for the animals of San Pedro. An invitational competition with all of our winners from our 2012 monthly themed cook-offs. The best of the best.
We were doubly excited since all the donations and money raised at the event (and until the end of today) are being matched up to $2000US by a long term supporter and hand's on helper, Heather Beck. Thanks Heather!
Wet Willy's Cantina and Smokehouse Restaurant was the venue...and I do not lie when I say that by 6pm, starting time, the place was PACKED. After we sold the last of our 130 tasting tickets at about 6:05pm, we had to vacate our little sales table to provide more seating. I would guess that we had almost 200 supporters and volunteers attend. AMAZING crowd.
Also amazing, we had 14 delicious entries from all sorts of categories. From Chicken Tamales to Bacon Cheddar Mashed Potato Ball (from AJ's Bar) to a gooey Apple Crisp (from Crazy Canucks) to Wet Willy's Smokehouse Asian Marinated Pork Loin with Ginger Sweet Potatoes....this decision was close to impossible for all the tasters.
Belize Archaeologist Distances Himself from Indiana Jones Suit
The Belizean archaeologist at the centre of a lawsuit against the makers of an Indiana Jones film using the likeness of a crystal skull said that he has been misrepresented both in the claim itself and the media attention surrounding it, according to a manager of Belize’s Chaa Creek Natural History Centre.
Brion Young, assistant manager of the Chaa Creek NHC, which, among other activities, catalogues the Maya presence in Belize, was commenting on media reports that the Director of the Institute of Archaeology of Belize, Dr Jaime Awe, is suing the producers of the 2008 Harrison Ford film “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” for use without permission of one of Belize’s most iconic and controversial images, the Crystal Skull.
However, Mr Young said he has just received news that Dr Awe is disturbed by the reports and has said that he was unaware of the lawsuit, which was filed by promoters as part of a scheme to publicise celebrations to be held in Belize as part of the 2012 Maya Winter Solstice celebrations.
“It seems that Dr Awe, a serious Mayanist who is respected worldwide for his research into Maya civilisation, thought he was merely lending his name to an attempt on the part of the Government of Belize and Belize’s National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) to contact the present owners of the Crystal Skull. He had no idea it would result in this lawsuit.
‘When the ship comes in’ to Ambergris Caye,Belize
Something that I should perhaps have mentioned some while ago about building in Ambergris Caye, Belize is that nearly everything ( think I have mentioned that Ambergris Caye is an island) that you need or want has to be ferried in.
For the build of a home there is a lot of stuff to be ferried in because although there are building supply stores on the island the range is not extensive and the prices will be higher. Far better to go to one of the builder merchants on the mainland or import, say from the USA, and then barge it from Belize City over to Ambergris Caye.
When considering our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize we had looked at project managing it ourselves. Had we done this it would have been us that would have employed the labour and ordered and arranged for the delivery of all materials.
We chose not to take this approach – even though we would most probably have reduced the cost of the project – because in all honesty we didn’t want the hassle of worrying if deliveries were made by the required time. Employing, and managing, staff. We also didn’t want to have to organise and manage site security for the materials.
What’s it like building in Ambergris Caye,Belize?
Was on the final piece of bacon when my ‘phone rang. It was Rose . She had showered, dressed and wanted to join me in going to watch our build in Ambergris Caye,Belize. I paid the bill (BZ$17.50) and went to collect Rose.
We got to the site at 7.20 am, 80 minutes after the guys had started to work and it was obvious straight away that they had been busy and were still very busy filling the forms with concrete when we arrived.
The guys were expertly and vigorously using the long and precarious ramp to the forms.
Rudimentary improvisation was in place making use of small boards as ramps to provide access for the wheelbarrows ( and three were in constant use today – skilfully and energetically used by Nicholas, Alfredo and ‘Junior’) to the forms for the pouring.
The guys on the wheelbarrows , once again, showed high levels of energy to deliver the concrete as quickly as possible.
Daniel Camal , our building contractor , and Anhill worked together to make sure that the small ramps were moved and positioned as required and helped to empty the wheelbarrows at the correct place.
Blue Hole Named to Most Awe-Inspiring Sites by TripAdvisor
Blue Hole at Lighthouse Reef named #2 most awe-inspiring site in world by TripAdvisor. #1 is Antelope Canyon in AZ US & #3 is Angkor Wat.
Mayan Apocalypse 2012: A Journey Into Belize In Search Of Mayan History (PHOTOS)
Modern Belize is small enough that passengers on my Belize City-bound Delta flight spent nearly half an hour before takeoff figuring out how they knew each other's relations, assuming that they must. They did, but it's no surprise given that this territorially tiny country is home to about 300,000 people benignly organized into racial subsets: Taiwanese small business owners, Low German-speaking Mennonite farmers, creole-slinging slave descendants. This file-folder diversity is charming, but it is also the result of a great homogenous loss.
Before the Spanish explored Belize and the English colonized the Mosquito Coast with a rash of mahogany camps, roughly twice as many people lived here as do today. They were Mayan, and this was arguably the heart of their empire.
The most obvious evidence of Belize's Mayan past are signs denoting natural wonders named with a surfeit of hissing Xs and guttural Us. Also the ruins. The ruins are towering and strange, their strangeness highlighted by the communities around them. Where Americans traveling in Mexico experience Teotehicuan as an unusually strange destination within a strange land defined by a foreign-and-mestizo history, travelers to Belize are given directions to the ruins in clear English from the stoops of clapboard homes.
Within the context of towns quaintly named Ladyville, Teakettle and Blackman Eddy by the English, the pyramids' photogenic qualities are rendered eerie by a juxtaposition with recognizable modernity. The temples of Xunantunich, devoted to the lords of the underworld, sit just off a highway boasting a roadhouse named "Cheers."
Xunantunich is not merely a relic. The Castillo, as the largest pyramid at the site is known, and the lawns in front of it sit on centuries worth of buildings. A stella showing the bottom half of a warrior found and displayed at the site dates from 150 BC. The Maya were here for a very long time and -- at least on the scale of their own history -- until quite recently. They lingered long enough to flatten the top of a mountain for their city and to construct massive pyramids without the aid of the wheel or, for that matter, thousands of Jews.
Then they were gone...
TREATY ENERGY CORPORATION UPDATES INVESTORS ON BELIZE OPERATIONS
Treaty Energy Corporation (OTCQB: TECO) (www.treatyenergy.com), a growth-oriented international energy company, is pleased to update investors on the progress of the San Juan Prospect in Belize.
San Juan No 2 Well:
San Juan # 2 well was perf'ed in a 10-foot section between 1197 FT-1207 FT in order to test the Top of the Cretaceous Lime. We swabbed on the 1200 feet zone and got gas and traces of oil. We expect to continue swabbing sometime this weekend and if all goes well, begin work on installing pump jack and temporary storage and flow lines. We plan to pump the well into a temporary storage tank for a few days to determine the daily production rates.
San Juan no 1:
San Juan # 1 well was perf'ed in a 10-foot section between 1222 FT-1232 FT in order to test the Top of the Cretaceous Lime. Initial Swabbing of San Juan #1 indicates limited fluid entry and will need to be acidized. We are reviewing the best ways to accomplish this with or engineers and technical staff in order to determine an action plan going forward.
San Juan 3 and 4:
We have applied for 2 additional Permits for wells a mile north of the initial San Juan Wells. We are currently acquiring casing, pipes, and mud to be loaded during the next 2-3 days out of Houston. The truck is expected to leave Houston by Thursday and to arrive in Belize on Monday morning. We will be clearing the location and preparing the pad sites by this weekend and expect to begin drilling sometime around the week of December 26th. We expect drilling to take around 5-7 days.
Papaya volumes on the rise
Red papaya production in Belize won’t peak until March, but shipments are expected to edge up weekly from now until then on a crop pegged for hefty volume increases.
“Brooks is projecting a 25% increase in Caribbean Red papaya volumes in 2013,” said Bill Brindle, vice president of sales and marketing for Homestead, Fla.-based Brooks Tropicals.
Late November production, however, was lighter than normal as growers continued to rebound from hurricane activity earlier in the year, said Eric Crawford, president of Sunrise, Fla.-based Fresh Results LLC.
“We replant as fast as we can to fill the gaps Mother Nature gives us,” he said.
Fresh Results ships red tainung papayas year-round.
“There are just a couple large operations in Belize, Brooks and ourselves,” Crawford said.
“Mexico is the largest producer, but out of Belize we’re definitely up double-digits year after year, probably 30% this year over last.”
Given Belize’s vulnerability to hurricanes or tropical storms, only demand can explain the production increases there.
“Demand on red tainungs is increasing exponentially,” Crawford said. “It has to do with the sugar levels and the flavor. They’re less pungent than a maradol out of Mexico.”
Publicity on the health benefits of antioxidants in papayas has helped drive those sales — as have other marketing efforts.
OAS and EU to support peaceful resolution of Belize-Guatemala territorial dispute
The Organization of American States (OAS) and the European Union will sign on Monday at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC, an agreement to support the peace fund project, implementation of confidence building measures in the Adjacency Zone between Belize and Guatemala, managed by the hemispheric organization.
The agreement will help to fund a civic education campaign to generate awareness of the consequences of the referendum that will be held simultaneously in both countries on October 6, 2013, in order to support efforts to find a peaceful and permanent resolution to the territorial dispute between the two countries.
Participating in the ceremony will be the secretary general of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza; the permanent observer of the European Union to the OAS, Joao Vale de Almeida; the permanent representative of Belize, Nestor Mendez; the permanent representative of Guatemala, José Rodrigo Vielmann de León, the chair of the Permanent Council and representative of Mexico, Joel Hernández; representatives of member states and observers, and other senior officials of the organization.
The 6 Craziest Things John McAfee Said In His Unforgettable Interview On CNBC
Tech mogul John McAfee was on the run from authorities in Belize, now he's in Miami.
He is suspected of murder in Belize, and has also said that the government has gone after him for having a meth lab and an illegal antibiotics lab.
This morning the 67 year-old Mcafee did an interview on CNBC's Squawk Box about his plight, live from a studio in Miami.
It was amazing. He touched on everything from drug use, to torture, to the status of his 20 year-old girlfriend and her companion.
Here are some of the best quotes from the interview:
The CNBC reporters wanted to know if this was all a hoax. He said not, but: "I do love hoaxes.... I did a hoax on bath salts once."
His real stance on bath salts? "Bath salts are used by people that don't have a lot of money that make them want to eat people's faces. If I decided to start using drugs again, I have the resources to use good drugs."
Despite his supposed history of drug use, McAfee told the interviewers, "I don't drink and associate with people who drink." He also said he does not hire them.
On whether he'd start a business again, "Making money is easy. Any idiot can make money, it's keeping it that's the hard part."
On guns: "It's certainly accurate that I had guns and lots of guns but they were in the hands of my security guards. I live in a country, sir that has the highest murder rate in the world, check it out on the internet."
On being handcuffed for fourteen hours straight, he repeatedly told his interviewers: "You should try that."
McAfee 'not out of the woods' legally
Software developer John McAfee is a free man because he managed to elude police in Belize and slip into Guatemala, from where - like any run-of-the-mill illegal immigrant - he was deported.
Whether he stays free in the United States or is sent back to Belize is likely to depend, in the words of the extradition treaty with the Central American nation, on whether he becomes a "person sought for prosecution" in the murder of a fellow American expatriate.
He hasn't reached that status, according to news accounts. But, said Bill Hing, a veteran immigration lawyer and law professor at the University of San Francisco, "This guy is definitely not out of the woods."
The saga of the 67-year-old former Silicon Valley magnate and antivirus-software developer is extraordinary - he spent three weeks in disguise and on the run, claimed he was the target of a government plot after refusing to pay a bribe, and admitted faking a heart attack. But his legal situation is far from unique, and the last chapter hasn't necessarily been written.
McAfee says will not return to Belize, willing to talk to police
U.S. software pioneer John McAfee said that he will not return to Belize where police want to question him about a murder case, but that he is willing to let authorities from the Central American nation interview him in a "neutral country."
McAfee, 67, went into hiding after his American neighbor Gregory Faull was fatally shot in November. He made his way secretly to neighboring Guatemala, but the authorities there deported him to Miami on Wednesday.
"I will not go back to Belize. I had nothing to do with the murder," a relaxed-looking McAfee said in an interview on CNBC.
Police in Belize want to question McAfee as a "person of interest" in Faull's killing, though authorities there say he is not a prime suspect. McAfee said he barely knew Faull and had "absolutely nothing" to do with his death.
Belize police say their country's extradition treaty with the United States extends only to suspected criminals, a designation that does not apply to McAfee.
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